Radio-Coteau (rā’ dē ō - kō tō’) adj. A colloquial expression suggesting “word of mouth.” Region: Northern Rhone.
Literal Translation: broadcasting from the hillside.

Radio-Coteau works closely with select cool-climate coastal vineyard sites in Western Sonoma County and Anderson Valley to produce wines with vibrant, balanced fruit and a distinct sense of place. Focus is on organic, detailed viticulture in conjunction with a natural, non-interventionist approach in the cellar to more accurately reflect the unique character of each site and season. The winery is situated in Sebastopol, and the estate vineyard is located in the hills above Occidental, California.

Established in 2002 by Winegrower and Proprietor Eric Sussman

2015 Vintage
California was in its fourth consecutive year of drought, the Sierra snowpack had dwindled to 8% of average, and mandatory water restrictions were in effect for many residents. Yet despite these alarming conditions, the 2015 vintage may well be one worth cellaring. A warm winter, dry soil conditions and a long, cool spring ultimately defined the vintage with an exceptionally early harvest and light yields.

2014 ended with a significantly warm December, combined with several back-to-back stormfronts. Here in the Russian River we received nearly 15” of rain in December alone. Though we did not receive any significant rainfall again until February, the lack of water in our local Goldridge soils and warm winter temperatures worked together to force an early spring. Budbreak at our Sonoma Coast and Russian River vineyard sites began three weeks ahead of 2014. The month of May brought dramatic cooling, and these early bloom cold temps kept the flowers of many of the grapes closed, unable to self-pollinate, potentially creating a phenomena known as “shatter” and ultimately an overall reduction in final grape yields. Despite the significant spring cool-off, the seasonal drying trend continued through early summer, accelerating bloom and shoot growth ahead of schedule.

We witnessed veraison the first week of July at the Hallberg Ranch and Alberigi vineyard. As the berries grew and then began to change color we soon realized that most of our vineyards, across all varietals, had small berries and reduced yields from either shatter or millerandage (hens and chicks). Smaller berries (especially in thin skinned Pinot Noir) simply cannot withstand intense heat and will begin to desiccate if left on the vine after physiological ripeness has occurred.

Harvest began August 14th, the earliest pick-day for us at Radio-Coteau since we began in 2002. Grapes trickled in throughout August as temperatures fell and allowed for some additional time on the vine. Then 6 days of intense heat was forecasted, and all the remaining Pinot Noir came off the vine by Sept. 5th. We are committed to picking grapes before desiccation sets in from prolonged sun exposure. As non-interventionist winemakers, this is critical to preserve natural acidity, keep alcohol levels moderate, and retain freshness in all of our wines. The Syrah and Zinfandel typically ripens later and was able to hang out there for a few more weeks, though all of our fruit was off of the vine by October 5th.

With grape yields down approximately 30% below average, the wines naturally have a gratifying density to them, and superb color extraction due to the high skin to juice ratio in tank. We utilized more delicate pump-overs in the fermenters this year to preserve elegance in this seductive vintage. Overall, the wines of 2015 are showing lots of vitality and distinction. Naturally balanced acidity is a common thread throughout the various lots, as well as fine-grained tannins. These elements should come together to create a classic age worthy vintage.

2014 Vintage

2013 Vintage

2012 Vintage

2011 Vintage

2010 Vintage

2009 Vintage

2008 Vintage

2007 Vintage

2006 Vintage

2005 Vintage

image eric
Winegrower Eric Sussman first heard the expression radio coteau from a friend while living and working in Burgundy. More than a preference for how you discover these wines, the name reflects a commitment to capturing reflections of soil, seasons, people and place.

Radio-Coteau supports land and marine-life conservation and educational practices by returning a portion of Orfin Lotts satellite wine sales to community-based organizations which inspire us.

Inspired by the traditional yet endangered telemark ski turn and free-heelin’ backcountry access, Orfin Lott's Pinhead Red was born. This red is a hearty yet refined mountain wine that was handcrafted for the express purpose of returning the bounty of the land to the communities and causes that inspire us. A portion of the proceeds of Pinhead Red is donated to The School Garden Network for creation and support of sustainable garden and nutrition-based learning programs for students in Sonoma County. 


Vince “The Hat” Pedroia's cowboy poetry, from his collection A Mano:

"A Mano"
"Horseshoe Bend"
“Disguised” Poem on Giclee Print

Vince Pedroia planted
Cherry Camp Vineyard in 2001.

©2011 by Vince Pedroia
All Rights Reserved
For additional copies, or to
purchase the collection or the
print, email

Above: Local artist Claude Smith showcased some of his beautiful pieces at Radio-Coteau 's Fall 2012 Open House. Born and raised in N.Y.C. in a family of visual artists, he has had one-man and group exhibitions in N.Y.C galleries beginning in 1968 and has had shows in Toronto, San Francisco, Europe and throughout northern California. Claude resides and maintains a studio in Graton, CA. Check out his work online


**We were delighted when Renga owner and matermind Joe Szuecs featured artwork and performed acoustic guitar at our Spring 2012 Open House**

Renga Arts produces and sells art, both fine and functional, made from reclaimed, salvaged, and recycled materials. They have joined reknowned folk artist, Patrick Amiot, to create a showcase for exemplary works from the finest artists and craftspeople working with salvaged materials. Along with world class folk and fine art, they strive to offer creatively inspired objects of everyday utility. Needless to say, a wealth of items fit into this category -- birdhouses, furniture, bowls, jewelry, and garden accessories are just a few examples.
They represent a growing number of talented and inspired artists and vendors, both local and international, that create inspiring handmade works for you and your home.

Vit Lit Oyster Culture

Cameron + Company is a boutique publishing house, creating and distributing quality books and calendars with a focus on photography, art, architecture and publications of regional interest. Visit their website

Written by Joe Mesics, late owner of Timbervine and our friend, Vit Lit captures a unique perspective into the life of an old timer's winegrowing journey. "From grape to glass, Joe Mesics invites us to join him on a wine road less traveled—the one that the furrowed-brow grape grower takes everyday."

Gwendolyn Meyer's exceptional photography and introspective into the oyster world's past, present, and future takes the reader on a colorful, educational path of the complex, yet pure, world of this tremendous and lovable bivalve. Radio-Coteau's La Neblina Pinot Noir is paired with The Marshall Store's Fish Stew on page 113. "Oyster Culture looks at the rich intersection between oyster farming and culinary culture in this unique habitat in Northern California, which has remained relatively pristine due to conservation measures and agricultural land trusts."

Ted Andersen's Agency
Ted Andersen's Agency at Radio-Coteau We met up with local Sebastopol artist Ted Andersen at a brewpub in Santa Rosa one thirsty afternoon in Fall 2011. Just a couple weeks out was our open house weekend, and we were honored to showcase his extradorinary work. This piece is known as The Agency. Check him out at
Below: 2010 La Neblina night harvest filmed and edited by Anaïs Radonich Galvin of Farm + Cellar.

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